Joe Reyes and The Corner Laughers

Joe Reyes “Worry Row”
Grammy award winning producer and musician Joe Reyes’ latest release is a detailed musical gem that speaks volumes. Highlighted by brilliant songwriting it opens with “Don’t Kid Yourself,” a tune fans of Michael Penn, Jon Brion or Neil Finn will cherish. And there’s plenty more.

“Wicked Life” is a slow country-like ballad that will make Ryan Adams jealous. The shimmering pop of “Never Look Back” is another treasure to be uncovered here. The Beatlesque “Trying To Get Used To It” and “Consolidation” are more examples of his flawless musicianship.  Nearly every song hits the mark and even when the song has a bit more production (“Just Dangling,”) Reyes works real magic here. Lyrically it’s also one of the best written albums this year, despite the depressing themes. San Antonio native Reyes is an unsung talent that should not be missed.

The Corner Laughers “Ultraviolet Garden”
Produced by Allen Clapp (The Orange Peels) and featuring the stellar vocals of Karla Kane, Ultraviolet Garden is a shiny, happy album that sparkles with pop charm and rock smarts. Fans of female pop vocals like Kelly Jones or This Blue Heaven will be glad to add this to the music mix. An early standout is “For The Sake Of The Cat” a lyrical story with a jazzy ukulele and catchy chorus. Another gem is the folk based “Half A Mile” with a backing vocal and tinkling keys from Khoi Huynh.

Sometimes things are a bit too novelty (“Inner Archaeologist”) or too overdone (“Dead Sicilians”) but the majority are great compositions here, with pop gems like “Silver Medal” and “Yellow Jacket” both with fast paced rhythms. Overall, a real sweet pop treat that’s guaranteed to add a smile and help get that toe tapping to the beat. And don’t forget this same crew is the core of The Agony Aunts.